Dillon Lawrence was the winning pitcher for Southern Arkansas on Sunday.
GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – Three Southern Arkansas pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts and the Muleriders manufactured eight runs in the second inning, before holding off Central Oklahoma 10-8 Sunday at the Air Hogs DII Classic.
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Southern Arkansas is 3-1. Central Oklahoma is 1-3.
SAU starter Dillon Lawrence (1-0) and relievers Brian Archibald and Nick Starr, who were all making their first appearances as Muleriders, strung together a combined 16 strikeouts with Lawrence and Archibald each collecting six K’s. Eric White entered with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning and worked the final two-thirds of the ballgame to pick up his first save of the season in his second appearance as a Mulerider.
Central Oklahoma scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, but would be held scoreless through the next four innings, before engineering some late inning dramatics that saw the Bronchos plate three runs in the sixth inning, two runs in the seventh and add two more runs in the ninth inning, before White worked around a potential go-ahead threat to end the ballgame.
The Muleriders answered the UCO run in the top of the first inning with two runs on two hits in the home half of the frame to lead 2-1 heading into the second inning.
Southern Arkansas’ big eight-run second-inning was the difference in the nightcap and saw seven hits, one walk, three stolen bases, two Central Oklahoma errors and a pair of UCO pitching changes. It began with junior transfer Dakota Wright leading off the inning by lacing a triple to left centerfield on the first pitch he saw, before scoring on an RBI groundout by sophomore transfer Austin Baker.
With one out in the inning, junior transfer Jake Goodson also tripled and in the following at bat scored as Jansen McCurdy singled home Goodson. Freshman Riley Orr reached on an infield error that moved McCurdy up to second. The pair would travel 90 more feet in the next at bat after senior Jacob Richardson singled through the left side to the load the bases.
Senior Mark Fontenot drew a five-pitch walk to chase home McCurdy and with the bases still loaded, classmate Jake Tisevich singled up the middle to plate Orr and Richardson and park Fontenot at second.
Leading 7-1 with one out in the inning, senior James Trevanion singled through the left side to reload the bases, before Wright’s second at bat of the frame resulted in a two-RBI single into centerfield that pushed home Fontenot and Tisevich to put Southern Arkansas up 9-1. After a sharp lineout from Baker, Trevanion and Wright executed a double steal that ended up with Trevanion racing home on a throwing error by the catcher and served as the final run in the Muleriders’ early scoring effort.
Southern Arkansas managed just one hit in the third through eighth innings, while the Bronchos scored seven runs on seven hits and stranded seven runners in the third through ninth innings of play.
Trevanion and Wright each collected two hits for the Muleriders, who banged out 10 total as a team. Wright as well as Fontenot and Tisevich each collected two RBI, while McCurdy and Orr both scored a pair of runs.
The Muleriders play in Magnolia for the first time this season as they prepare for a four-game series with No. 17 Lindenwood. First-pitch in the series is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday. Live links for all of the action are available at www.MuleriderAthletics.com.